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Research Report

Exploitation, trade and farming of palm weevil grubs in Cameroon

Fogoh John Muafor
Aurèle Ayemele Gnetegha
Philippe Le Gall
Patrice Levang
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2015
Pages: 43
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-2)

    Food security remains one of the most fundamental challenges for human welfare and economic growth in most African countries, since sufficient food to meet the needs of all citizens is not available at the national level (Benson 2004). Despite the fact that the Central African subregion is classified as an important agricultural basin, many people in this area are unable to acquire and effectively utilize the food they need for a healthy life. Even in Cameroon, where agriculture and animal husbandry are mostly practiced in the subregion, many cases of food insufficiency have been recorded in recent years, especially in...

  2. (pp. 3-7)

    Foods hunted and gathered from forests contribute to food security by providing people with calories, animal and plant proteins, essential minerals and micronutrients (Pimentel et al. 1997). It is largely accepted that food forest products can complement household agricultural production in periods of crisis. Moreover, forest food products are essential for livelihoods, especially in the Congo Basin where over 90% of people depend on natural resources for food, medicine and income generation (COMIFAC 2008). The gathering of insects for food in particular is a very old practice in the Congo Basin region. From the literature, 45 insect species in 16...

  3. (pp. 8-9)

    Many studies on the biochemistry of palm weevil grubs have indicated that this insect is extremely rich in essential food nutrients. From studies conducted by Womeni et al. (2012), the nutrient content of these grubs is quite interesting (Table 4).

    The moisture content of larvae is quite high, comparable to that of fish, meat and eggs. Such high moisture content implies that most of the essential nutrients in the larva will be in solution and in forms that are easily available to the body when the larva is consumed as food (Ekpo and Onigbinde 2005). According to Elemo et al....

  4. (pp. 10-15)

    The study was conducted in the Mbalmayo and Abong-Mbang divisions, in the Centre and East regions of Cameroon respectively. The first study site extends across the Obout and Ebomssi II villages in the Mbalmayo division, while the second site covered Ntoung I, Ntoung II, Ndjibe, Djodjok and Nyimbe villages in the Upper Nyong division (Figure 2).

    These two sites fall within the River Nyong Basin, which is known to be one of the most fragmented landscapes in the Congo Basin forest. The area is highly fragmented by pressure arising from diverse human activities, such as uncontrolled timber exploitation, small-scale subsistence...

  5. (pp. 16-29)

    Traditional collection and semi-farming method were used to exploit palm weevil grubs.

    Grubs were harvested by systematically extracting them from the trunks of oil palms when the palms had been cut down for palm wine production or from the trunks of raffia palms which were infested naturally by grubs in the swamps (Photo 12).

    The quantity of grubs harvested from oil palm was lower than from raffia. In this system, collectors spent hours, and sometimes days, in raffia ecosystems to identify raffia stems that had been colonized by grubs. These raffia stems were uprooted and split open with machetes or...

  6. (pp. 30-30)

    The exploitation and trade of palm weevil grubs is an important source of livelihood in the Obout and Ntoung areas. Many local people depend on this resource for food, income and medicine. The market prices and demand for this resource are increasing, providing new market opportunities. Due to the high economic value of this resource, the exploitation of grubs is commonly practiced and considered to be more important than hunting, fishing and animal husbandry. However, the exploitation of this resource from the wild is characterized by a low productivity, irregular supply and negative environmental impacts. The newly developed grub farming...